Selçuk and Ephesus

A flight to Izmir and a train south led us to Selçuk, a small town on the doorstep of the magnificent ruins of Ephesus. We realized quickly that Selçuk was perceptibly warmer than Istanbul, but that didn’t stop us from exploring the city: a mixture of teahouses, ruins, carpet shops, markets, and parks. We extended our stay to see more and enjoy the concerts and festivals for a public holiday that no one could explain.

Ephesus, the whole reason we were there, was fantastic, but one of my favorite moments of the whole trip happened on our last night in Selçuk. After buying fruit for the bus ride to Fethiye the next morning, Marcus and I were wandering around, looking at the night market and listening to a group of musicians play when a boy of about 12 came and asked for help with his homework. He had to pair famous authors with the books they wrote. He spoke only a little English, but we played a fun guessing game in which ‘bad, trouble, police’ led us to discern ‘Crime and Punishment’ and match it with Dostoevsky. I only wish I had been able to help him with the Turkish authors.

Pictured above, the Library of Celsus at Ephesus.

Ephesus was a sweaty affair. Armed with water bottles and a keen eye for spotting shadows, we headed out in the early morning to take in the ancient ruins.

Shoes outside a mosque in Selçuk.

Four chairs and a hookah wait for an afternoon break.

Looking out towards the İsa Bey Mosque.

Mosaic of an ancient basilica. The first afternoon we found ourselves atop a hillside among the ruins of St. John’s Basilica. The saint was believed to have lived in Selçuk late in his life.

A view of the ruins of St. John’s Basilica. Upon inspecting a sarcophagus against the wall, Marcus and I came upon a mother dog guarding her new puppies. It was probably a hilarious sight. Two tourists, solemnly discussing the carved stone when suddenly a dog jumps out to attack and sent them running and screaming around the crumbing walls. Ha.

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